Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas

A friend shared this information she found on the net about the true meaning of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song. I didn't write this beautiful piece and therefore cannot take the credit for it. If you have the link to the original source, please share it with us. Thank you.

It is in bold text below;

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were

not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone

during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics.

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning

plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each

element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality

which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Chris t.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness

Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history for today. This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and now I know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol...so pass it on if you wish.'

Merry (Twelve Days of) Christmas Everyone


  1. Wow! That is fascinating. I love hearing about songs/poems that have double meanings like that. Funny how we have completely forgotten the true intention/real significance of so many things this day in age. Great post! organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip.com

  2. Wow! That is so cool. I never knew that! Thank you for sharing this, I am going to email it to some friends!!!

  3. Yes, Naomi. i thought so too. how we tend to forget the true meaning behind very important things and settle for the literal meaning.

  4. So glad to put meaning to the words. Thank you Theo!!

  5. Thanks for your kind words,Jillian!

  6. It's amazing how we sing this from year to year, but never realize the deeper meaning to this song. I am so glad that you shared this with us, Theo.

  7. I'm really glad I read this post Theo! That song never made any sense to me. I always thought it was silly. It never ccurred to me there would be a deeper meaning behind it! Thanks!


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